NEW DELHI: President Pranab Mukherjee has said India and New Zealand can become partners for promoting security, stability and prosperity in their regions and beyond, as he welcomed visiting Kiwi Prime Minister John Key.
Key called on the President at Rashtrapati Bhavan yesterday.
Mukherjee, while welcoming the PM and his delegation, said India values its relationship with his country and the sustained momentum of high level contacts reaffirms the growing strength and dynamism of bilateral engagement between India and New Zealand.
The President, a Rashtrapati Bhavan spokesperson said, said India and New Zealand share a unique bond based on shared values and synergies, being two multicultural, vibrant democracies that believe in and respect the rule of law.
"New Zealand can be a key partner in India's quest for food security. Bilateral trade in goods and services has nearly doubled in the last eight years. Currently, total trade in goods and services in 2015 amounted to USD 1.45 billion.
"India and New Zealand can be partners in promoting security, stability and prosperity in the region and beyond. The two countries can work together in areas such as maritime security and ensuring freedom of navigation and in countering terrorism," he said.
The President added that there exists a strong desire amongst the people of the two countries to improve relations.
On his part, the spokesperson said, Key reciprocated Mukherjee's sentiments and said his government would like to grow and strengthen the bilateral relations.
He thanked Mukherjee for his visit to New Zealand earlier this year and said India's economic growth provides many opportunities.
"There is a strong and growing Indian community in New Zealand," Key said, adding the high-level contacts between the two countries provide the foundation stone for a better understanding of each other's perceptions.